Follow TV Tropes


Context Film / FunnyGames

Go To

1[[quoteright:300:]]˛˛->'''Anna''': ''Why don't you just kill us?''\˛'''Peter''': ''You shouldn't forget the importance of entertainment.''˛˛Austrian filmmaker and social critic Creator/MichaelHaneke made ''Funny Games'' in 1997, then remade an English-language version ten years later, [[ShotForShotRemake shot for shot]]. Although trivially similar to a {{Gorn}} film, it's actually meant as a deconstruction of such films as well as a giant YouBastard at the audience who would want to watch them in the first place.˛˛Both films center on a yuppie family arriving at their lakeside vacation house. Pulling into their driveway, they see their neighbor has some new guests, two clean-cut young men wearing white gloves who look like they've just walked off the golf course.˛˛The men soon arrive on the family's doorstep making a number of requests and imposing on their hospitality. Eventually the family tires of them and ask them to leave, but they ignore the requests. After the husband slaps one of the men, they break his leg with his own golf club and take the family hostage.˛˛Though maintaining a nonchalant and even friendly facade, it soon becomes clear that the two men are psychopaths who intend to torment the family with a number of cruel games before murdering them. Can they survive? ˛˛----˛!! This movie contains examples of:˛˛* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Compare Creator/NaomiWatts from the remake with [[ Susanne Lothar]] who played Anna in the original. ˛* ActionSurvivor: Subverted. [[spoiler:The wife displays a spontaneous burst of badassery when she snatches a gun and shoots one of the villains to kingdom come, but this doesn't stop the other villain from ''literally'' rewinding time to undo it.]]˛* AloneWithThePsycho: The family is terrorized by two psychopaths that invade their home. ˛* AMFMCharacterization: The family listens to opera music which establishes them as being of the middle-class. Peter and Paul listen to ''death'' metal.˛* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: By the mother to the father before climbing out of the window to look for help.˛* AsideGlance:˛** Paul gives one of these to the camera just before Ann/Anna discovers where he's hidden the dog. It's the first time he breaks the fourth wall. In the original, he winks, although in the remake he just stares.˛** He also gives another one to the camera at the very end of the film.˛* AudienceParticipation: When Paul makes his mortal bet with the family that they won't last until sunrise, he turns to the camera and suggests that the audience play along, then comments that you're probably siding with the family.˛* TheBadGuyWins: To put it shortly, [[spoiler:Peter and Paul ultimately win their bet]].˛* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Averted. In both versions, Anna gets visibly more worn-out-looking over the course of the film as a result of the abuse.˛* BigBadDuumvirate: Peter and Paul although Paul seems to be the one in charge. ˛* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[Literature/TheBible Peter and Paul]].˛* BlownAcrossTheRoom: [[spoiler:Peter]] when being shot by [[spoiler:Anna]] with the rifle.˛* {{Bookends}}: The title of the film is shown in red text at the beginning and end of the film, accompanied by the same metal song.˛* BoundAndGagged: The mother after she was picked up by the villains on the street, and also during [[spoiler:the boat ride at the end that she never returns from]].˛* BringMyBrownPants: Poor Georgie couldn't hold it during the "Cat in the Bag" game and ended up peeing his pants.˛* BrokenAesop: Academics have been arguing since the film came out about whether Paul's YouBastard point is valid.˛* CardCarryingVillain: Paul confesses they "rob rich families in smart houses."˛* CellPhonesAreUseless: The mother's cell phone is disabled by it getting dropped in the sink, frying the battery, very much TruthInTelevision.˛* ChekhovsGun: Subverted by [[spoiler:the knife in the sailboat. There's an insert shot of the knife getting left aboard, and in fact the wife lunges for it at the very end, but it's quickly taken away from her and has no effect on the plot or her fate.]]˛* ConspicuousGloves: Two clean-cut young men wear white gloves, making them look a little like golfers. The wife asks about them because they didn't take them off inside the house, and Paul claims he has eczema. They wear them to hide their fingerprints.˛* ConvenientlyPlacedSharpThing: A knife that's been left in the family's boat is [[ChekhovsGun later used]] by a tied-up Anna to try and free herself. Subverted, in that Paul and Peter see her, take the knife away, and throw it overboard. [[spoiler: As well as Anna herself.]]˛* DeadlyEuphemism: How Paul reveals that [[spoiler:he killed the dog]]:˛-->'''Paul''': I had to test the club in another way.˛* DeathOfAChild: ˛** Georgie is the first one to die.˛** Also, the neighbor's daughter is seen lying dead in the bathroom of their house.˛* DeceptivelySillyTitle: A film about two guys who decide to murder a family just because they can, in fourth wall breaking fashion, is not that funny. ˛* DiabolusExMachina: In this movie, the killers have all the advantages, while the victims don't have any chance to survive. This is most prominently and cruelly shown in the remote control trick. ˛* DiabolusExNihilo: The duo gives various conflicting accounts of who they are and where they came from, but they're obviously all lies. They have no backstory and no reason to exist except to serve as villains for the movie [[YouBastard you're so sadistically viewing]].˛* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:All three family members are killed before 9:00, the villains win their bet, and the film ends with Paul asking another neighbor for eggs, restarting their "game"]].˛* {{Euroshlock}}: It's not gory or pornographic, but its nihilistic tone and implicit condemnation of the audience make it seem suited to the genre.˛* EvilDetectingDog: The family's German Shepard barks wholeheartedly at the villains. The clue remains unnoticed.˛* FaceOfAnAngelMindOfADemon: The two killer are young and handsome boys in their 20s who don't even look menacing at first.˛* FanDisservice: Seeing Creator/NaomiWatts in bra and panties is usually a good view for male audience. But while she's tied up to be tortured ? Maybe not so much.˛* FatAndSkinny: Peter and Paul in the original.˛* FauxAffablyEvil: Both Peter and Paul make a big show of being very polite and considerate, which is all a part of their sadistic game.˛* ForeignLanguageTitle: The Austrian film's title is ''Funny Games'', in English. ˛* ForTheEvulz: The killers give [[MultipleChoicePast conflicting]] {{Freudian Excuse}}s for their deeds, reducing it to simple, pointless evil.˛* FourthWallObserver: Paul addresses the audience regularly and near the climax even [[spoiler:rewinds part of the film itself.]]˛* FreudianExcuse: Deconstructed when the father asks his two tormentors why they are hurting his family. The villains poke fun at him, coming up with various reasons like one of them being a child of divorce which made him become [[DepravedHomosexual a queer and a crook]] or him having five siblings with all of them being drug addicts while his father was TheAlcoholic. None of this was true as they immediately point out.˛* GenreDeconstruction / DeconstructorFleet: The film subverts your expectations of home invasion horror and thus continues to frustrate fans of the genre. ˛** GenreSavvy killers who know they're in a film and [[BreakingTheFourthWall break the fourth wall]] to [[YouBastard accuse the audience of wanting innocents to suffer for their amusement]].˛** It is also a commentary on abuse as entertainment in general and the deconstruction lies in that it shows this abuse without glorification, without any emotional or moral justifications and without giving the audience the comfort of the dehumanizing effects of {{gorn}} and NauseaFuel. The killers as {{Audience Surrogate}}s are continually disappointed when the family does the more common sense action rather than ratcheting up the tension, and the [[SoundOnlyDeath real violence is only heard]], not seen. ˛** The whole point of subverting the FinalGirl was to trick the audience to fall for an old horror cliche: "the final surviving female kills the villains." [[ChekhovsGun Placing that knife so early on in the movie]], only to have it be disregarded as completely unimportant by the end.˛* GenreSavvy: Paul knows that he's in a film and tracks his deeds based on common plot structure.˛* GoryDiscretionShot: The death of [[spoiler:the husband]]. The [[spoiler:son]] gets a SoundOnlyDeath.˛* HateSink: Peter and Paul.˛* HereWeGoAgain: The bulk of the film is neither the first nor last time these killers will play their game. We see them with the neighbors early on, and then see them starting the whole thing over again with some other neighbors at the end. ˛* HopeSpot: The entire movie is filled with situations where you feel hopeful for the victims, like something would turn in their favor, and each time that door is slammed shut.˛** First we witness the family's friends arriving in a boat but bummer, an old man and his two female partners pose no threat to the villains.˛** The son gets hold of a shotgun and shoots at Paul. Too bad the rifle wasn't loaded.˛** The killers suddenly leave, giving the husband and wife some glimmer of hope that they'll survive. [[spoiler:Paul later lampshades that this was necessary for traditional plot structure.]]˛** The cellphone comes back to life, giving the survivors hope of rescue. But no, the DistressCall [[LostInTransmission amounts to nothing]].˛** The wife manages to grab the killers' gun and shoot one of them. It looks like the other killer loses his mind when he tries to undo the event with a remote control, but it actually works. The scene rewinds and this time the killers hang onto the gun. ˛** When the wife is tied up in the boat and they are about to push her into the lake, she spots the knife her son had left there earlier and for a few moments it looks like she might actually be able to get away. However, one of the killers notices it too and grabs it before she has a chance to take it.˛* ImprovisedWeapon: The villains arrive unarmed but find a golf club to be of great use against the father.˛* ItWorksBetterWithBullets: The son directs a rifle at Paul and pulls the trigger. Nothing happens. Turns out the weapon wasn't loaded.˛* KarmaHoudini: The two killers receive no comeuppance. In the end, the dominant killer even smirks triumphantly at the camera as he prepares to kill again.˛* LeaveTheCameraRunning: The original is full of scenes like this, most notably immediately after [[spoiler: Paul and Peter kill Georgie]].˛* LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: Both versions begin with a helicopter shot of a car driving through a country road set to classical music. Then voice-overs of the family in the car begin discussing the music, revealing that it's playing from the car stereo. ˛* LightIsNotGood: The villains are dressed all in white.˛* ManInWhite: The killers are dressed in white golf outfits.˛* MayIBorrowACupOfSugar: The two men first come over to borrow some eggs.˛* MovingTheGoalposts: Paul enjoys doing this to the mother. First, he only wants her to recite a prayer. Then he demands her to pronounce it in a more affectionate way. Next, he wants her to kneel while saying the prayer. Lastly, she is supposed to recite the prayer back to front.˛* MultipleChoicePast: Paul tells a few different stories about his and Peter's background and motivations, none of which are likely to be true.˛* NeverTrustATrailer: Downplayed. The [[ trailer]] for the American remake makes the film look a bit more like a black comedy than a straight-up horror film.˛* NoFourthWall: Paul is completely aware that he's in a film. He smirks at the camera several times and makes snide comments to the audience about what they expect will happen. He also makes several comments that the killers' timing and sequence of actions are based on traditional plot structure.˛* NothingIsScarier: The excruciatingly suspenseful scene where Georgie is being hunted down by Paul in the neighbors' house, where everything is dark and deathly silent and you know that Georgie might be caught at any moment..˛* TheOner: In the Austrian version, shortly after the gun goes off, there is an 11-minute shot in which very little happens, but the full horror of the scene can be soaked in.˛* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Creator/TimRoth slides between his natural English accent (as in ''Film/PulpFiction'') and his much more nasal, higher-pitched American accent (as in ''Film/ReservoirDogs'').˛* RealityHasNoSoundtrack: The lack of scare sounds is just one more convention of the horror genre that Haneke breaks with. Heavy metal is played in-universe at one point to heighten the tension.˛* RealityEnsues: Zigzagged for the bad guys. If not for the RewindGag, [[spoiler: either both guys would've of ended up dead or Paul could've otherwise easily found himself without a partner due to the fact that both guys let their guard down toward a vindictive victim who was within gun reach.]] ˛* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Directed to you (us?) the viewer because by watching this movie, you allowed its universe to exist through your thoughts.˛%%* {{Remake}}: Covered under ShotForShotRemake˛* {{Retcon}}: Within the film! [[spoiler:Paul rewinds the movie using a remote, inside the movie, and undoes a death.]]˛* RewindGag: In both the original and remake, the villains use a remote control at one point to rewind the scene like a video tape when things didn't turn out the way they planned.˛* SadisticChoice: ˛** The husband is forced to decide between the wife taking off her clothes or Paul inflicting pain on the son.˛** The wife is forced to decide if the villains kill her husband quickly by gunshot, or slowly by knife.˛* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler:Not only do all the sympathetic characters die, but this is neither the first nor last time that this exact scenario has played out for the killers. What's more, the rewind trick suggests that the chances of any future targets to survive are next to zero.]]˛* ShotForShotRemake: The American remake, by the same director, is almost exactly the same, but English speaking actors are used instead of German and Austrian actors.˛* ShoutOut: ˛** [[Film/AClockworkOrange A bourgeois family is assaulted in their home by villains in white outfits]].˛** Paul and Peter refer to themselves as WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry and WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButtHead at select points.˛** In the remake, Paul says "As they say on TV, [[Series/LetsMakeADeal let's make a deal]]" when pitching the idea of his game to the family.˛* TheSociopath: The two boys who decide to torture families as a pastime.˛* SoundOnlyDeath: When [[spoiler:Georgie]] is killed, it happens in the next room as we see Paul making food, and we only hear the sound of the rifle going off and see a blood-spattered television immediately afterward.˛* SoundtrackDissonance: The movie starts with a happy family driving through a beautiful country road and listening to opera. When the credits begin, the soundtrack suddenly switches to a shockingly discordant and abrasive song with grinding guitars, piercing trumpets, and [[CarefulWithThatAxe meaningless screeching]].˛* {{The Spook}}s: The origins (and real names) of Peter and Paul remain unknown throughout the film, and they are complete strangers to all of their victims. ˛* StressVomit: The mother vomits after [[spoiler:her son is shot]].˛* StunnedSilence: After [[spoiler:Georgie is killed]], the parents sit motionlessly and in silence for over a minute. ˛* TakeThatAudience: A number of events in the film are arguably this, including [[spoiler:the rewind scene, in which the audience is given what it wants and then cruelly undone.]] This is [[WordOfGod confirmed]] by interviews with the director Haneke.˛* TheyLookJustLikeEveryoneElse: Paul and Peter look like perfectly normal and innocent young men. No one could imagine what kind of vicious, twisted killers they are.˛* ThoseTwoBadGuys: The central antagonists seem to function between themselves as a slightly more real, less comical version of this trope.˛* UndignifiedDeath: The ultimate humiliation for the mother is [[spoiler: how she dies. Her son gets shot and her husband gets stabbed, but she gets bound and gagged and taken for a boat ride. After Peter and Paul have been sailing for some time with her sitting between them, they just shove her off the back of the boat and sail on without looking back.]]˛* UniversalRemoteControl: The TV remote is used to literally rewind the film so that Paul [[DiabolusExMachina can stop the protagonists]] from foiling his scheme.˛* VillainousBreakdown: Subverted when Peter and Paul pull their FreudianExcuse prank on the father.˛* WouldHitAGirl: One of the villains slaps the mother hard.˛* WouldHurtAChild: The killers don't mind murdering entire families, children included.˛* YouBastard: The entire point of the films.˛----


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: